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Old 07-01-07, 07:40 PM   #1
SDRider
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I had a run-in with the cager-from-hell yesterday...

So, I'm out in Palm Springs for the weekend with my wife and son and I took my road bike along so that I could get in a couple rides in during the early morning before it got oppressively hot. I rode 20 miles on Friday and another 20 miles yesterday. I was about 15 miles into my ride yesterday riding down Rt 111 in Rancho Mirage towards Palm Springs when some jackass in a Toyota Tundra buzzed me. I threw my left hand into the air to express my displeasure at how close he passed me (traffic was very very light and I was on a road with 3 lanes in each direction-no bike lanes).

Anyway, right after my hand gesture he slows to a stop not far ahead of me. I immediately tried to determine if he had a passenger in his truck but couldn't tell right away so I decided to try to go around his stopped truck on the left rather than have him force me off the side of the road. As I rode up along side him he accelerated to stay with me and started confronting me. He said something about another cyclist who was killed riding on this particular road to which I responded that I have every right to be riding on this road as he does (I actually yelled that at him since he was yelling at me).

Meanwhile, he's matching my speed and forcing me out into the next lane at the same time. Then he accused me of flipping him off, which I absolutely did not do and I told him so, then he took a swing at me just brushing my right arm. Traffic is coming up behind us now and I'm all the way into the third lane with people honking at us. He proceeds to drive off and I'm left wondering what the hell this guy's problem is.

I just shrugged the whole experience off and continue on my ride trying not to be pissed off about it since I'm okay. Then about a 1/2 mile up the road I see someone standing at a corner and quickly realize it's the same idiot who I just had the confrontation with. He's waiting for me and pointing to the intersection and as I ride by he's screaming that this is where that other cyclist was killed and that he was killed because he was a "fscking prick, just like you are."

I rode by him veering out into the roadway to avoid getting into a physical confrontation with this guy who is obviously unstable...not to mention he was about 100lbs heavier than me. So, I got a pretty good description of his vehicle and of him so I phoned it in to the Riverside County Sheriff's office. Hopefully, they'll pick this a-hole up at some point before he kills someone (a long shot but I remain hopeful).

I wished I had my cell phone...which I did not. I also wish I took note of his license plate number. I'd press charges against that dirty scumbag in a heartbeat.
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Old 07-01-07, 08:00 PM   #2
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100 lbs heavier than you? He needs to start riding a bike...
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Old 07-01-07, 08:10 PM   #3
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Good thing you're okay.. it was shrewd of you to avoid stopping.

Maybe you should look up the supposed accident, see if someone was charged for it. The guy seemed to be implying he was responsible, and if the police think they're looking for a killer rather than a JAM, then they'd probably look harder.
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Old 07-01-07, 08:29 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete Fagerlin
Here's a simple solution to your road rager problems.

Get off the road and into the hills above Palm Springs/Palm Desert. The riding and scenery is much better.

I did that for a while. I wound up injuring myself a few times and after seeing a good friend shatter his ankle, spend a week in the hospital, and months recovering I decided I was safer going back to road riding...which is my passion anyway.
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Old 07-01-07, 08:45 PM   #5
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I find it interesting that he was SO concerned about cycling safety that he felt compelled to buzz you, before attempting to force you into oncoming traffic.
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Old 07-01-07, 10:38 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SDRider
I did that for a while. I wound up injuring myself a few times and after seeing a good friend shatter his ankle, spend a week in the hospital, and months recovering I decided I was safer going back to road riding...which is my passion anyway.
heh, except that off road, you rarely get JAMed.....

But I understand your desire to go with your passion.

Glad you were ok
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Old 07-01-07, 10:48 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SDRider
I threw my left hand into the air to express my displeasure at how close he passed me ...
I did the exact same thing as I was 'buzzed' by someone in a van on my century yesterday, then realized that it could create all kinds of problems: anyone screwed-up enough to drive that close to a cyclist is not someone who will 'learn' from me raising my hand in the air in anger. If anything, you only provoke the person further.

We just need to keep cycling in the roads, obeying the laws, and remembering that the benefits of cycling FAR outweight the risks!!

- JP
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Old 07-02-07, 12:50 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SDRider
Then about a 1/2 mile up the road I see someone standing at a corner and quickly realize it's the same idiot who I just had the confrontation with. He's waiting for me and pointing to the intersection and as I ride by he's screaming that this is where that other cyclist was killed and that he was killed because he was a "fscking prick, just like you are."
At this point he's lucky it was you and not me.
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Old 07-02-07, 02:08 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SDRider
...He said something about another cyclist who was killed riding on this particular road...
So, how many people in cars have been killed on this road? Bet it's more, probably a lot more.

Ask him that.

Last edited by CommuterRun; 07-02-07 at 02:17 AM.
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Old 07-02-07, 05:30 AM   #10
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That guy has psycho killer (qu'est-ce que c'est) written across his forehead. Strange he seems to know exactly where and why another cyclist was killed
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Old 07-02-07, 06:30 AM   #11
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Always have that cell phone!!!! Preferably with pic capability. A quick call to 911 saying you're being attacked, or at least threatened, by a road rager, giving a vehicle and driver desription and plate number is a good defense. The moment he stops in front of you is the time to call. That's the sign he plans on doing something.
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Old 07-02-07, 07:02 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kjmillig
Always have that cell phone!!!! Preferably with pic capability. A quick call to 911 saying you're being attacked, or at least threatened, by a road rager, giving a vehicle and driver desription and plate number is a good defense. The moment he stops in front of you is the time to call. That's the sign he plans on doing something.
Believe me, the cell phone is coming with me from now on, I don't care if I have to tape it to my handlebars. I wasn't wearing a cycling jersey on this ride though, just a Performance brand short sleeve shirt without pockets otherwise I would have had my cell phone...which does have a camera.
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Old 07-02-07, 07:11 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cyclaholic
At this point he's lucky it was you and not me.
I would imagine that it's kind of difficult to fight with road cycling shoes on.
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Old 07-02-07, 07:33 AM   #14
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The advice for handling road rage in an automobile is never to do anything that challenges or responds to the rage prone person. In retrospect, your initial hand gesture probably did not help the situation, wrong as he was to buzz you.

I saw the movie "Munich" and was disappointed that it deviated from the source book, "Vengeance," on something interesting. The girl who lived on the houseboat had lured and killed one of the counter-terrorist team. When the three remaining members of the team went to confront her the movie shows them using pistols. Actually, they had bicycles modified in a special way because bicycles are so prevalent in Holland and no one would think anything of three guys out on bicycles. The top tube on these bicycles was a cut-away that snaps out and was chambered for a .22 long rifle bullet fired with a spring mechanism. That is what they used to eliminate her when she reached for a gun in a drawer (as per the book). Maybe a bike so equipped would equalize such encounters. (I hope you realize I am not really serious.)

Someone did tell me he always carried a small pistol in a holster attached above his hip when he rode in one particular state. Drivers gave him a wide berth when passing. It would not even need to be a real pistol. A realistic plastic replica would do.
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Old 07-02-07, 07:56 AM   #15
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Road ragers are never concerned about anyone's safety. They're only PO'd as to why you are inconveniencing them...
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Old 07-02-07, 08:08 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete Fagerlin
Here's a simple solution to your road rager problems.

Get off the road and into the hills above Palm Springs/Palm Desert. The riding and scenery is much better.

I agree.

That looks like a nice little climb.
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Old 07-02-07, 08:11 AM   #17
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I've learned, through experience, to just ignore as much as possible, the JAMs. Better to let them fly by and keep riding than to gesture or say anything. Then, you get this predictable behavior. I find it hard to believe how many people are set to take on their fellow patriot over the slightest provocation.

Things are not right in this country. People are way too uptight.
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Old 07-02-07, 09:24 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SDRider
....He proceeds to drive off and I'm left wondering what the hell this guy's problem is....

.....I rode by him veering out into the roadway to avoid getting into a physical confrontation with this guy who is obviously unstable...
And therein lies the answer. Never assume the people you are dealing with are rational. Statistically, we all encounter murderers, dope addicts, and people with a litany of mental disorders on the road.

Few people go out of their way to be so hostile to cyclists. It's probably a safe assumption that of those that do, a disproportionate percentage are not "normal".
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Old 07-02-07, 10:19 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete Fagerlin
Here's a simple solution to your road rager problems.

Get off the road and into the hills above Palm Springs/Palm Desert. The riding and scenery is much better.
Wow. Nice shot.

Too bad I prefer that 14-17MPH breeze in my face as I exercise.
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Old 07-02-07, 10:48 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue Order
I find it interesting that he was SO concerned about cycling safety that he felt compelled to buzz you, before attempting to force you into oncoming traffic.
See, that's the best bit. Assuming there was one, I'm trying to figure out what his point was. Some candidates:

1) Cyclists get killed on this part of the road so I'll try to scare you straight.
2) We kill areshole cyclists in these here parts.
3) You scared the hell out of me on this deserted road where I had dozed off and barely woke up in time to avoid you.
4) I forgot to take my medication this morning.

The fact that he tried to point out the danger to the OP seems to indicate that he almost cares - of course that would tend to be contraindicated by the fact that he tried to run him off the road.

Can't figure it out. I'd much rather ride in the road in relatively heavy city traffic than ride on these deserted roads any day.
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Old 07-02-07, 11:24 AM   #21
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The JAM is probably trying to justify in his mind actions that he knows are stupid and dangerous. He is trying to convince himself that he was convincing someone to ride somewhere safer.
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Old 07-02-07, 02:38 PM   #22
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A fellow ATOTer and BFer Glad you made ok!
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Old 07-02-07, 02:46 PM   #23
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It would not even need to be a real pistol. A realistic plastic replica would do.
If you're gonna carry a pistol, better to make it a real pistol (and know how to use it)!
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Old 07-02-07, 02:59 PM   #24
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A fellow ATOTer and BFer Glad you made ok!
Thanks. Thanks everyone actually.

Yeah, my thread on this topic was met with many less cordial responses over there unfortunately. Sometimes I wonder why I bother posting there...especially with the way the forums are so screwed up there lately.
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Old 07-03-07, 07:10 AM   #25
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Someone did tell me he always carried a small pistol in a holster attached above his hip when he rode in one particular state. Drivers gave him a wide berth when passing. It would not even need to be a real pistol. A realistic plastic replica would do.
In most states open carry is illegal and will draw police attention, an in most states police can charge you even if the pistol isn't real, because you intended for people to think it's real. In many cities, it will also draw the attention of those who will challenge you just to see what you're going to do with it. As a concealed carry license holder and firearms instructor, I have to say, openly carrying a fake gun can get you in LOTS of trouble.
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